Saturday, May 19, 2007
I wrote a post about the recent ad network/ad infrastructure deals called 10x revenues several weeks ago.
Since then we've seen AQNT trade to MSFT (this morning) for $6bn which is 10x revenues.
But TFSM only got 3x revenues from WPP.
It's interesting that market leaders like DLCK, Right Media, and AQNT get 10x revenues but second fiddles like TFSM get 3x. That shows the power of market leadership for sure.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Breaking: Microsoft is acquiring advertising network aQuantive, the parent company to Avenue A | Razorfish, Atlas and DRIVEpm, for roughly $6 billion in an all-cash transaction, the company said this morning.
aQuantive is a public company (AQNT) and had a market cap of just $2.8 billion as of yesterday. The acquisition price of $6 billion is a roughly 2x premium on yesterday’s closing price, which is a reflection of the fact that this were competing bidders (see notes below). The acquisition comes after recent big acquisitions by Google and Yahoo in this space. Google bought Doubleclick for $3.1 billion in April. Later that same month, Yahoo acquired competitor RightMedia for $680 million. Just yesterday, WPP Group acquired yet another company in this space, 24/7 Real Media, for $649 million.
2006 revenues for aQuantive were $442 million. Net income as about $54 million.
aQuantive’s operating companies include both tools and ad agencies. The company is located in Seattle.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Posted by Augustine at 11:28 PM
Posted May 6th 2007 8:03AM by Deidre WoollardDecor and Gadgetry Hermès Travel Domino Set Handmade Painted Driftwood Mirror Christopher Paul Mats For Your Summer Decor Trump Home Furniture Collection The Erich Ginder Ghost Tree More Information on the Lomme Bed Pair of 1950s French Bergere Arm Chairs Add a Moroccan Glow with the Chandelier Mamounia The Loet Vanderveen Imperial Rhino Crushed Glass Vase Beolab 9 Speakers from Bang & Olufsen Pininfarina Hard Drives 47 Vases in One Accuro-Korle Ecstasy Stainless Steel Radiator Handbags Cole Haan Vivian Hobo, Handbag of the Day Lauren Merkin Eve Plaid Clutch, Handbag of the Day Isabelle Fiore Peacock Clutch, Handbag of the Day Antrobus Convertible Bag, Handbag of the Day Vive Le Rock, Allison Burns, Handbag of the Day Louis Vuitton Monogram Dentelle Batignolles Horizontal, Handbag of the Day Real Estate The Austonian Chickering Lane, Estate of the Day Golf Drive, Estate of the Day Seven Isles, Estate of the Day North Haven, Estate of the Day What $10 Million Buys You in Dubai Rosemary Beach, Estate of the Day Belle Epoque, Estate of the Day Santa Fe, Estate of the Day Wine and Spirits Xellent Vodka Danny DeVito's Premium Limoncello Vodka Goes Acai360 Vodka, Drink the Vodka Save The World Spirit of Toronto Whisky Gala Crown Royal XR Whisky For The Queen Pahlmeyer Goes Pinot Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Wine Wheels Tesla To Electrify Chicago Porsche 911 Turbo Spied Topless 2008 Porsche Cayenne Hits The Press Fleet Shaq Supersizes His Lambo McQueen's Ferrari On The Block The Skinny On Maybach Luxury In Excess? Colnago for Ferrari Bicycles Journeys De-Age Your Face At The New Guerlain Spa Set To Open This Fall Luxe City Guides Offer Only the Best Scooops, a New Spa Just For Kids The Camelback Inn Plans A Massive Renovation Sleep Under the Stars in the "Honey Room" at L'Albereta Amuleto, Paradise Down Mexico Way RiverStone Lodge, Luxury Comes To Pigeon Forge The Stoli Hotel Is Not For Overnight Stays Watches and Jewelry FDR's Watch To Sell At Auction Brilliant Lady 21, How Many Facets Can Fit On One Diamond? Lauren Bacall Will Have Her Own Jewelry Line Wings Aruba has New Airport Terminal for Private Jets BMW Enters The Jet Design Business With The 787 VIP Business Jet Water Perini Navi Launches Tamsen The Plans For Pretty Woman
Posted by Augustine at 10:19 PM
Posted May 14th 2007 8:16AM by Conrad Quilty-Harper
Filed under: Household
Posted May 14th 2007 9:54AM by Darren Murph
Filed under: TransportationIt's been a tick since we've heard details on an emerging battery technology that promises to trounce even the best products currently available, but researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have reportedly developed yet another approach to boosting Li-ion capacity and stability. The technology is "based on a new material for the positive electrode made of a unique nano-crystalline, layered-composite structure," which allows an active components to provide for charge storage while residing in an inactive components which assists in keeping the risk of explosion low. Current claims are putting the capacity right around "double that of conventional Li-ion cells," and it could be used in a variety of wares from "mobiles, laptops, pacemakers and defibrillators, or even hybrid / electric vehicles." Unfortunately, there was no timetable as to when scientists expected said technology to actually be available commercially, so until then, we'll consider this yet another promise on pause.
Posted May 14th 2007 10:34AM by Thomas Ricker
Posted May 14th 2007 4:04PM by Erik HansonLED backlights instead of the conventional flourescent used in most sets now. What's different from the LED units we've seen before is that Samsung wants to use white LEDs, with single diodes custom-coated to produce the same backlight previously requiring combinations of red, green, and blue bulbs. Samsung recently invested in Intematix, which produces custom phosphor coatings for LED bulbs to create uniform color -- required in a television to faithfully reproduce colors. Until recently costs have been higher for LED backlight units, keeping them relegated to higher-end models. Samsung claims the single bulb process reduces costs by 40%, but time will tell whether white-only LEDs are truly better or cheaper than tri-color LEDs, or if they are just the next "Reveal lightbulb" marketing gimmick.
Posted May 15th 2007 5:28AM by Thomas RickerSlide on over Samsung, you'll need to make room on your "world's biggest" pedestal for Fujitsu's new 250GB, 2.5-inch drive for laptops. The MHY2BH matches Samsung's line-up nearly spec-for-spec: 12-ms average seek, 8MB cache, SATA interface, 5,400rpm, 24dB operational wheeze, and a slightly better 1.9W power draw. Still, neither can match the 300GB capacity of Fujitsu's other 2.5-incher. But Fujitsu's latest, just like Sammy's, measures in at a mere 9.5-mm thick -- a full 3-mm less than the 300GB beast -- making these the highest capacity drives available in the ultra-portable slimsters we all crave.
Posted May 15th 2007 9:11AM by Darren Murph
Posted May 16th 2007 6:47AM by Nilay Patel
Filed under: Displays
Posted by Augustine at 9:02 PM
Posted May 16th 2007 11:19AM by Ben Drawbaugh
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Posted May 16th 2007 11:48PM by Chris Ziegler
Fox Interactive, the corporate parent of MySpace may not be commenting on its rumored $250 million purchase of photo sharing & hosting service Photobucket, but the tongues are already wagging with many wondering who’s next. The name of the photo-sharing start-up quietly doing the rounds of likely buyers is one that is going to surprise many.
We have heard from multiple sources that Fotolog, a social photo site is one of the fast growing properties, getting a (notoriously unreliable) Alexa ranking of 24, which puts it above Photobucket.
The New York-based Fotolog started in May 2002 and now has eight million members, and is doing about 3 billion page views a month, with about 13 million unique users. In the last month alone the start-up has added about 700,000 users. Quantcast data puts them at about 26 million uniques.
So why is this company not getting the attention? Mostly because it is big in Spanish-speaking regions and in Southern Europe. The company has signed a deal with AOL, which will likely goose up the revenues for this little start-up.
But one should not confuse Photobucket and Fotolog. Fotolog CEO John Borthwick, a former Time Warner executive, on his blog notes:
Photobucket is a tool that is agnostic of destination – while Fotolog is a destination. Photobucket stores image-based media, then distributes it to your page on social networking sites such as Myspace, Bebo, Piczo, Friendster, etc. Fotolog is a destination where you post one image a day which then becomes the center of a social interaction/chat with your friends. It’s intentionally simple – stripped down and focused on the social media experience.
Borthwick agrees with the arguments we made in our post yesterday, even though he believes MySpace has grander ambitions for Photobucket.
Photobucket is a photo and video tool that could become a web-wide locker for the storage of digital media. Just as eBay’s acquisition of PayPal wasn’t meant to just serve just eBay, my guess is that NewsCorp’s purchase of Photobucket isn’t just meant to serve MySpace.
So who would be interested in this company? My guess is a large media player without a social media play. IAC, Viacom and several private investors could be interested in Fotolog. This is one you need to keep an eye on.
Augustine: this is product-development 2.0overwhelming nerdgasms at the power of the tiny, Linux-based box.
The OSD can record from any analog video source, from a TiVo to a satellite box to a DVD player to a games console. It records to any removable media you plug into it, such as a USB thumb-drive or a hard-drive -- so you can record your favorite DVDs, your best video-games, or your TV shows straight to drive. Needless to say, it'll play back from all this media as well.
The OSD is networkable, and can schedule programming in advance like a TiVo. It can play back all the standard download formats, including Xvid and Divx.Best of all, the OSD is open: anyone can hack its firmware and add features to it (Neuros will even pay hackers for adding features to the box). Unlike traditional PVRs that come lumbered with anti-copying technology to appease the Hollysaurs and anti-hacking technology to appease the investsaurs, the OSD actually treats you, the customer, as the owner of your device, and encourages you to wring every possible erg of value from your purchase. Link
To help bust this overly broad patent, we are looking for Prior Art that shows the use of this technology before 1994. Specifically, we are seeking the following items:Link
1. NetNews CD-ROMs, sold by Sterling Software, preferably volumes #1 through #35. These CDs may have been also available through CD Publishing Corporation.
2. Other CD-ROMs that were distributed in 1993 or earlier that contained hypertext content or were installation disks for applications that linked to Internet content.
from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow TokyoFlash's latest wildly impractical, handsome Japanese wristwatch is the EleeNo WebTime Elite. Although this isn't nearly as impractical as a watch that vibrates the time in Morse code, it is nevertheless extremely handsome. I'm really becoming a fan of "butterfly clasp" watch-straps that make a continuous loop around your wrist. Plus it comes in orange, which is unquestionably the best color a watch can be. Link
See also: Binary LED watch from TokyoFlash Crazy TokyoFlash watch: the Pimp Watch Radio Active watch from Tokyo Flash Scope watch tells time using line-intersections on Cartesian grid Impractical lovely pixelwatch from Japan
The Ninth said that Google's Image Search thumbnails are fair use -- that's the good news. The less-great news is that the court also ruled that Google is a "secondary infringer" where it has "actual knowledge" of copycat sites in its index and fails to do anything about it.
Today's decision reversed the lower court's holding [PDF] that Google's thumbnails were not a fair use, following and bolstering an earlier image search engine precedent, Kelly v. Arriba Soft [PDF]. The court rightly took into account the important public benefit that search engines provide -- not simply the impact on the particular parties in this case -- and what would serve copyright's fundamental goal of promoting access to creative works. While Google's transformative use of the image provided a very real public benefit, Perfect 10's potential loss of thumbnail licensing revenue was highly speculative.
The Court also shot down Perfect 10’s claim that Google was displaying the full-sized versions of infringing images from third-party websites by framing them or providing an HTML in-line link tag to end users. The Court correctly discerned the technology at issue, finding that when you frame a page or provide an in-line link, it’s the site that you’re pointing to that could be displaying the picture, not the search engine that coughs up the HTML.
To date there are two leading online spaces. World of Warcraft has been an unrivaled success, bringing Dungeon and Dragons style fantasy role playing to an audience in excess of 8 million. At the opposing end is Second Life with its embrace of capitalism and intellectual property rights.
What happened if you combined both?
Enter Entropia Universe
Set in a Sci-Fi future players assume the roles of colonists who must develop the untamed planet of Calypso. Game play is open across a number of different fields. Players who prefer a World of Warcraft style experience can undertake quests and join in groups to hunt and fight monsters. Mining is an option for those who don't like swinging a sword. Moving towards a more Second Life experience, players are able to own and run shops, manufacture goods, own land and build on that land, as well as being able to trade, buy, sell and create goods and services.
The addition that makes Entropia Universe a direct competitor to Second Life though is money. Like Second Life, the in-world currency in Entropia Universe can be converted to US dollars. Unlike the Linden dollar that continues to decline in value, the Entropia Universe PED can be traded at a fixed exchange rate of 10 PED to $1 USD.
Players are able to buy PED's to use in-world or can transfer PED's made in-world, out.
But there's more to Entropia Universe than just the ability to transfer cash in and out. A MasterCard branded ATM Cash Card is available to players which allow direct withdrawal of funds earned in-world. Banking is also taken seriously, unlike the unregulated wild west of Second Life with it's various in-world ponzi schemes. Entropia Universe recently sold 5 banking licenses for the amazing sum of $404,000 USD.
It all sounds great on paper, but how does it actually play?
Signing up is free, though personal details are not optional. Whilst you could probably enter false information, Entropia Universe does want to know who you are.
If Entropia Universe was to be judged alone on its installation procedures, there would be a lot less than the over 500,000 registered users. It's awful. The Windows only client is over 1GB in size and can only be downloaded from the one server using FTP. If you eventually mange to connect to the server, and it took me a several hours, you then have to wait an awfully long time for the download. Best I could get initially on a 2mb Cable connection was 20kbs download speed with an estimated time to download of 17 hours! In part it could have been a timing issue. I tried to download during the middle of the day European time (where the company is located). TechCrunch writer Nick Gonzalez reported a 4 hour download from the US during the European night.
A full sleep later I finally had it.
Login is simple although settings should be watched. I had regular issues staying connected until I dropped by internet speed settings to a much lower figure than my actual internet speed.
Users/ players must setup an avatar with a bewildering array of options. Entropia Universe claims that they have the best avatars in the business and it's a fair claim. Much nicer looking than Second Life with more customization options than you'll probably ever want to use.
In-world is good. I wouldn't call it excellent but it's definitely a slicker look and feel than Second Life. Moving around is easy enough, and once short-cuts and mouse options are learnt it's a pleasurable interface to use.
I took a tour of Calypso Island and teleported to a number of other locations as well. The non-user created areas look professional, but in some ways, compared to Second Life, it felt a little boring. Second Life would have to be 99% ugly but it's the raw passion of the user generated buildings that give it appeal.
The graphics engine behind Entropia Universe purrs. Even with relatively low settings the experience was seamless, and despite entering areas with large gatherings of people there were zero lag issues, a constant negative in Second Life.
I'd need to spend more time in-world to get a better feeling for all the possibilities Entropia Universe provides. You can't fly around and teleport at will in Entropia Universe like you can in Second Life so things do take a bit longer, and yet flying is not a feature you come to expect in virtual worlds if you're not an existing Second Life user.
Is Entropia Universe a better Second Life?
It depends on what you like. With a retention rate of 16% for Second Life amongst US users, it's clear that many don't enjoy what Second Life has to offer, despite the hype. One criticism I hear regularly about Second Life is that it's aimless; it's not a game so there is nothing really to do other than enjoy virtual sex and play Tringo. Now before I am shouted down by a legion of Second Life groupies, I do see Second Life's appeal as a creative and social space, but not everyone wants to get online and build virtual strip clubs or interrupt interviews with flying penises.
Entropia Universe offers the best of both Second Life and World of Warcraft style virtual worlds. The creativity and capitalism of Second Life can be experienced along with solid game play and decent graphics. If they can fix the issues with downloading the client (hint: bittorrent) and you don't mind downloading a 1gb file it's definitely worth a look. If it builds members so the social aspect becomes stronger, we could well be looking at a better Second Life, and already one that will appeal to a much more broader audience.
Carl Malamud says,
SmithsonianImages.SI.Edu has 6,288 images of tremendous historical significance, but this federal institution protects their "property" with draconian copyright notices.Link. Above, a cropped detail from the Edward Muybridge cyanotypes subset.
Most of this stuff appears to be in the public domain which means you can do whatever you want with it, but the Smithsonian site has considerably chilled our ability to increase or diffuse this knowledge.
To better ascertain the public domain nature of this archive, we scraped their html and piped all 6,288 lo-res images to Flickr (check out the cool tag cloud). For those interested in purchasing images to upload back into the public domain, we've created a public domain prospectus on Lulu. For the historic Muybridge Cyanotypes, we've started purchasing the hi-res images and have posted those for bulk download as well as created a series of derivative works.
There is a 2-page memo explaining the issues and the actions we've undertaken to better increase and diffuse this knowledge onto the net.
Posted by Augustine at 2:33 PM
Augustine: this is what I call useful innovation
Bringo solves one of the most frustrating problems that we encounter daily: phone trees. Call a customer service phone number and end up in automated operator hell.
I've memorized the keys you have to hit for United Airlines to get to an operator as fast as possible. With other companies I just keep saying "operator" while hitting # over and over again. Sometimes it works. With Bringo, none of that matters any more. You don't even need to dial your phone. Just find the company you want to talk to in their directory, type in your phone number, and a couple of minutes later Bringo calls you and connects you to an operator at that company. I tried it with Air Canada and it worked absolutely perfectly.
They need to create a stripped down mobile version of this as quickly as possible.
Posted by Augustine at 9:48 AM
Posted by Augustine at 9:44 AM